Viewing blog posts written by Ashley Hong

CMTA takes positions on 2 Fall initiatives that impact manufacturers

Posted by Ashley Hong, Policy Intern on Sept. 7, 2018

The November 2018 ballot includes 12 measures for voters to consider. CMTA has taken a position on two of the measures, recommending that voters support Proposition 3 to issue a bond for the financing of water projects and oppose Proposition 10 to expand local governments’ authority to impose rent control ordinances. Each measure will have an impact on California manufacturing jobs and investments, as described here:

Proposition 3 creates an $8.87 billion general obligation bond to finance projects related to water, storage, conservation, quality and watershed protection and maintenance. During the recent multi-year drought in California, manufacturers were able to maintain operations by embracing water conservation, recycling and reuse practices. Despite these best efforts, as the economy and population grows in the coming years, the demands for water will increase and our ability to serve all residential, commercial, agriculture and manufacturing needs will be stretched. This funding, with the specific inclusion of storage and supply related projects, will help keep water flowing to maintain manufacturing projects and jobs for the long term. CMTA Supports Proposition 3

Proposition 10 repeals existing law and would allow local governments to impose rent control on previously exempt properties. High housing costs are a challenge for manufacturers who need skilled workers near plants and facilities, but imposing rent control is the wrong way to go. In fact, it is likely that rent controls would reduce the supply and availability of housing, encourage investments in other types of development, and ultimately increase prices. We should be asking our state legislators to work on more sensible and effective ways to increase the supply of housing and make rents and home purchases affordable for California families. CMTA Opposes Proposition 10

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How high is too high for CA electricity rates

Posted by Ashley Hong, Policy Intern on Aug. 29, 2018

When will electric rates be so high that California consumers start to revolt? We may find out sooner than later.

This Friday state legislators could decide to put ratepayers on the hook for billions of dollars in wildfire damages. They have already voted to pass a bill to require 100% renewable energy by 2045. Both decisions will massively increase costs for utility customers, on top of the high rates already in place. Manufacturers and other groups are saying “enough!” and asking legislators to vote down the wildfire bill and asking the Governor to veto the 100% renewable requirement. Neither is necessary and both come with extraordinarily high costs.

California manufacturers already pay electricity rates that are more than 80% higher than the national average and rates will move higher as stringent new emissions-free energy mandates go into effect. We don’t know how high rates will be in the future. We do know that middle class manufacturing jobs will disappear as ever higher electric rates diverts resources from expansions, modernization, wages, and product development.

We need to find ways to improve safety and clean the energy system without loading more costs on the backs of ratepayers. Wildfire liability should be equitably shared between utility shareholders, insurers and ratepayers. Forcing ratepayers to pay all the costs is expensive, short-sighted and unnecessary to keep utilities financially sound. The bill to mandate 100% clean energy is not necessary to reduce greenhouse gas emissions and, ironically, could impede our efforts to meet long-term reduction goals by making the program more expensive.

Lawmakers and the Governor have time to push the pause button on these big energy deals, assess what the costs of all mandates will be in the coming years and take steps to protect ratepayers, jobs and the economy. Don’t rush to pass legislation that will be responsible for skyrocketing electric bills.

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California’s MFG competitiveness will be well served by cap and trade

Posted by Ashley Hong, Policy Intern on May 3, 2018

Last summer’s extension of the state’s cap-and-trade program provided the best available path to protect manufacturing jobs and control the costs of meeting the state’s mandated climate change goals. The alternative, an excessively harsh command and control program, would have forced businesses to make drastic changes in their operations and would have imposed strict regulations without any flexibility in implementation.

The result would have meant increased costs to consumers and the loss of more manufacturing jobs in the state. In fact, according to CARB’s own analysis, the alternative would have resulted in increased costs across all sectors of the economy and significant increases in fuel costs to consumers. Fuel costs for the overall economy would have been 6 times higher without the deal.

Bipartisan legislative support of AB 398 ensured an improved cap-and-trade program with tax cuts, cost containment measures, and significant bureaucracy reduction that will control costs for all Californians. These elements of the cap and trade deal, fought for by Assembly Republican Leader Chad Mayes and other legislative leaders, will ease the burden of businesses working to comply with the law by preserving a market-based approach and operational flexibility.

There were only two choices last summer: draconian command and control or market-based cap-and-trade. The leaders who fought for an improved cap-and-trade program should be lauded for their courage in helping to keep manufacturing as a key component of our state’s economy.

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Ready, set, go!

Posted by Ashley Hong, Policy Intern on April 2, 2018

After a restful week off, the legislature is poised to start hearing new bills in April.  CMTA lobbyists have been preparing letters and testimony to encourage lawmakers to support manufacturing.  Thanks to all of you who reached out to your local elected officials and talked about your businesses! 

But this is just the beginning - your voice needs to be strong all year.  Besides legislation, we will be watching the elections this spring through November, hearing the debates between the candidates for Governor, and taking positions on ballot measure campaigns that matter to manufacturers. Look to these pages for updates to guide your own advocacy efforts. 

The CMTA team is proud to represent your interests in Sacramento. Let us know how we can help you stay engaged in the process.  


Don't forget -- You can always use this tool to find and contact your legislator. Also sign up for our mobile text alerts and watch for our messages in April, May and June when votes and hearings go into full swing.  You can do so by texting “mfgchamp” to 916-571-9360. 

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What Matters: Time to talk to your legislator!

Posted by Ashley Hong, Policy Intern on March 23, 2018

The legislature has introduced thousands of new bills to vote on in the months ahead.  We look for impacts on manufacturers and either support or oppose the bills.  While lobbying legislators on those bills, we talk about the existing rules, regulations and taxes already impacting California manufacturers.  The costs of doing business are already too high and the burdens grow every year.

A new regulation might be well-intended to solve a real problem, but the cumulative costs of all California regulations are overwhelming for manufacturers. The high costs of doing business threaten to make many more California manufacturers uncompetitive in the marketplace.  Manufacturers won’t be able to make investments and create jobs if their costs are too high.

State leaders like to tout the size of California’s economy and how many thousands of jobs we have created since the end of the recession - more than any other state! In fact just today the state reported that we added 14,000 jobs last month among all sectors.  That’s good, but not good enough. What really matters is how we are doing compared to other states on an apples-to-apples basis.  The sad truth is that we are only attracting half the number of new manufacturing jobs than we should on a population adjusted basis.  And since the recession’s end we attracted barely two percent of the country’s manufacturing investments even though California has more than 10 percent of US manufacturing.  We are losing manufacturing muscle because costs are too high.  If investments don’t come here, jobs will be lost in the future.  

So if a new bill increases the cost of doing business, even a little bit, we will do our best to tell legislators why that matters.  If they are serious about protecting and promoting new middle-class manufacturing jobs, they will listen and modify their proposals. 

State legislators are “home” in the district next week during the spring break. You can help us lobby on the bills by reminding your legislator about the taxes you pay and the regulations for which you struggle to comply.  You can use this tool to find your legislator's phone number to call. You can also use the tool to send him or her a tweet.

Also sign up for our mobile text alerts and watch for our messages in April, May and June when votes and hearings go into full swing.  You can do so by texting “mfgchamp” to 916-571-9360. Thanks for helping us keep manufacturing a growing part of the California economy.

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